CURSE OF LONO
Acclaimed new London five-piece Curse Of Lono will release their debut album ‘Severed’ on Submarine Cat Records on April 7th. A sumptuously cinematic record that combines spaced out, harmony-laden indie-folk with driving, gothic alt-rock, ‘Severed’ was produced at Gun Factory studio by Oli Bayston (Boxed In).
Founded and fronted by Felix Bechtolsheimer, formerly the singer-guitarist in British roots pioneers Hey Negrita, Curse Of Lono formed in early 2015, though the songs on ‘Severed’ were written over a 14-year period. They range from the perky, Paul Simon-ish new single ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ to the more lugubrious ‘He Takes My Place’, the almost jazzy ‘London Rain’ and the rootsy, rhythmic ‘Send For The Whiskey’. The album belongs as much to the Americana tradition and old faithfuls such as Little Feat as it does to more modern, playful practitioners of the form such as Beck.
“Oli’s a very clever guy,” praises Felix. “He just gets it. He can make dance music or Americana – he played the piano parts on the last Willie Mason record. But I didn’t want an Americana producer with a set formula, I wanted a completely blank canvas.”
Lyrically, the songs cover themes including infidelity and sexual jealousy, the death of friends, and Felix’s personal struggle with heroin addiction. “Although ‘Severed’ is a dark record in places, it is not an addiction record,” says Felix. “It’s about growing up enough to be able to share a drink with the ghosts of the past without letting them push you around.”
In the summer of 2015 Curse Of Lono added ex-Hey Negrita drummer Neil Findlay, lead guitarist Joe Hazell, bassist Charis Anderson and keyboardist Dani Ruiz Hernandez to the line-up. The band released their debut EP in October 2016 to glowing reviews, launching it with a sold-out gig at The Islington. The four tracks on the EP form the soundtrack to ‘Saturday Night’, a short film of inter-connected music videos directed by Alex Walker. ‘Saturday Night’, which stars Grant Masters and Marta Hermida, was released alongside the EP, with the four episodes premiering on Louder Than War, Relix, Indie Rock Café and Spindle Magazine.